Helen Pensanti, M.D.

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Seasonal Allergies

Are you overwhelmed by pollen, mold and dust? Let’s talk about some all natural solutions.

Do you get violent sneezing fits? Itchy eyes? Scratchy throat? Have you moved, only to find it happening over again in your new location? You probably have some form of SEASONAL ALLERGY.


The immune system becomes overzealous and mistakes harmless substances like pollen, dust and mold for dangerous foes.

Your body produces a substance called immunoglobulin E (IgE) which triggers special cells called mast cells to produce histamines which bring on symptoms.

Most physicians treat with:

  1. Anti-histamines—which can cause drowsiness. Newer ones may not cause drowsiness, but can leave people feeling “spacey.” They can also be expensive.
  2. Sprays—eventually these cause a “rebound” congestion which is a vicious cycle where symptoms get worse when you try to discontinue the spray.


The good news is that the answer is yes! We would like to give you nine steps that will help to reduce or even eliminate your allergies.

  1. Identify the Villain—Tests to determine exactly what you are allergic to are available at an allergist’s office. But more than likely you can determine it yourself. If symptoms strike in spring or early fall and they are worse outdoors, POLLEN is almost certainly the culprit. If symptoms occur in late fall and worsen when it rains, MOLD is likely.
  2. Eliminate exposure to the Villain—First of all scrutinize your home. Is there black-fungal like growth in your ventilations system? That is mold. Keep humidity in the house below 50% (40-45% is ideal). Most hardware stores sell devices that measure humidity as well as dehumidifiers. Get an air filter: HEPA filters are best (High Efficiency Particulate Air). They are sold for either individual rooms or for the entire home ventilation system.
  3. Wash Allergens Away—Despite your best efforts, some allergy triggers WILL make it to your nose. Fight back with salt water. Mix 1 tsp. non-iodized salt in a glass of warm water. Gently rinse out nasal passages. A baby bulb is excellent for this. Rinse twice daily to flush our allergens and excess mucus.
  4. Try Stinging Nettle to Relieve Allergies—According to Dr. Andrew Weil, stinging nettle is good for both itchy eyes and sneezing. It is high in histamine molecules according to Bastyr University—this inhibits histamine production. Stinging nettles are non toxic with no side effects. Buy the freeze dried version (heat and air destroy medicinal properties). Take 1-2 capsules every 2-4 hours as needed.
  5. Try Quercetin to Prevent Allergies—Quercetin is a bioflavonoid found in yellow onions, garlic, citrus fruit and buckwheat. It appears to inhibit the release of histamine from mast cells. Start taking it 6 weeks before onset of allergy season. Needs to build up in your system. Take 400 mg. twice a day, between meals.
  6. Try Butterbur to Reduce Symptoms—Swiss studies have shown that butterbur reduces symptoms as effectively as some antihistamines WITHOUT drowsiness. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and stabilizes mast cells so they are les likely to reduce histamines. It is available at most health food stores.
  7. Drink Green Tea—Green tea is high in antioxidants. One antioxidant found in green tea is called Methylated Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG halts the production of histamines. Five to six cups a day are recommended to receive the health benefits of green tea.
  8. Don’t Over-react—Your mindset can alter your immune response. Allergies are found to worsen with stress. Allergies have been found to have a learned component: experiments have shown that if you show a plastic rose to someone with an allergy to roses, they will have an allergic reaction. Interesting, isn’t it? This shows there is some psychological response that may be able to be overcome.
  9. Stay Tuned to Doctor to Doctor—We will continue to bring you the latest updates in the field of medicine EVEN BEFORE THEY COME OFF THE PRESS!


Helen Pensanti M.D.

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